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The Hardest Part of Writing: discussion thread

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Master_Tigris_Leigh, Feb 23, 2007.

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  1. Master_Tigris_Leigh

    Master_Tigris_Leigh Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Hmm...where to begin. [face_thinking] I suppose at the beginning!

    I spent the better part of my childhood and teenage years writing, both original fiction and fanfiction. I even posted a story on this site, way back before the shift. Then I taught myself how to draw and sort of lost interest in writing for awhile. Eventually, college, work, practicum, karate, and a million other responsibilities sucked away any remaining time that I had for fun, and I no longer had the freedom to devote myself to either writing or drawing.

    Fortunately, now I do, and I have decided to get back into writing. It was something that brought me a great deal of enjoyment, especially being a part of this community. [face_love] [:D] That, and I have so many plot bunnies running around here. They keep breeding! But I am having some difficulty getting back into the swing of things again. Here are my two main difficulties:

    Getting Started:
    It has been a couple of years since I have written anything that wasn't a research paper for class. The most creative writing I have done lately has been client progress notes for my practicum. I can bust out a 10 page paper the night before it's due at the drop of a hat now, but when I try to sit down and kill one of my plot bunnies, I end up staring off into space trying to think of a good introduction that doesn't end with a thesis statement. [face_frustrated]

    Getting From Point A to Point B:
    My second main difficulty, is impatience. I'll have an idea of certain plot points that need to happen or want to happen in the course of the story. But I sometimes have trouble figuring out how I want to transition between each event in a manner that makes sense and doesn't interupt the flow of the story.

    Naturally, my own difficulties got me curious about other writers' difficulties. Misery loves company, right? :D So here is my question:

    What do you find to be your biggest difficulty when it comes to writing?

    I just thought it would be interesting to see what other people thought, and how they dealt with those difficulties. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. obsessedwithSW

    obsessedwithSW Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 24, 2005
    It has been a couple of years since I have written anything that wasn't a research paper for class. The most creative writing I have done lately has been client progress notes for my practicum. I can bust out a 10 page paper the night before it's due at the drop of a hat now, but when I try to sit down and kill one of my plot bunnies, I end up staring off into space trying to think of a good introduction that doesn't end with a thesis statement.

    Totally relate to this! Its ashame though cause this is how I think, unfortunately logical linear thinking doesnt lead to interesting stories.

    What do you find to be your biggest difficulty when it comes to writing?
    Lots, but I'll just address couple.
    Descriptive writing- analogies, symbolism, etc. that color a piece. I want to be concise which there is nothing wrong with that in a research paper but it leaves alot to be desired in fiction. Dont laugh, but I started my own thesaurus of sorts with descriptive words or phrases when think of them or run across them. It is divided by emotions or situations like fighting terms, technology, space crafts etc. I also have difficulty keeping straight techno stuff like what can go wrong in a ship, hyperdrive etc how do you address that. I have SW reference books for chronology, vehicles and weapons, species and the visual dictonary to help me.
    Also having friends on the boards to run things past is invaluable resource.
     
  3. WyoJedi

    WyoJedi Jedi Youngling star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2005
    What do you find to be your biggest difficulty when it comes to writing?

    My biggest difficulty is finding time. Full time job, father of 4, husband, and being just an all around great guy takes a lot of effort and eats up a big part of the day. My wife is very understanding of my obsession with writing and does her best to give me at least a little time each day to work on it. Of course some days it just can't be done and I miss my writing fix. I have come to understand that serious writing takes a very devoted effort and it is sometimes hard to give that... but I try.

    Cheers,
    Wyo
     
  4. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    What do you find to be your biggest difficulty when it comes to writing?

    For me, its relying on my strengths and ignoring my weaknesses. I love writing dialogue, but I'm not much a descriptive writer. Thus, most of my fics end up long on dialogue and short on action or setting.
     
  5. rebel_cheese

    rebel_cheese Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 6, 2006
    What do you find to be your biggest difficulty when it comes to writing?

    DRL is a big factor, but I also have a tendency to be distracted and lose my muse on one story to concentrate on another. Not a great thing . . .

    In terms of writing style, I've corrected my problems with tenses and POV jumps in the middle of a scene. I tend to be too wordy though, and I seem to pile on the description of an area or provide too much introspection, both of which tend to drag a scene on too long.

    Now my main problem is to be more concise.
     
  6. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Getting Started: Not too big an issue.

    Getting From Point A to Point B: Considering I have two stories well along but I'm stuck on chapter 3 on both of them - it's getting the larger picture plot. My stories are a lot of small stories, but the overreaching plot I struggle with.

    Example: why in a world of FTL why would a planet have limited interplanetary capabilities? Why is much transportation ground, foot and animals?

    If I want a political intrigue background, what's the intrigue? What drives it?

    What do you find to be your biggest difficulty when it comes to writing? Finding enough time, inability to plot tightly. Cutting the stuff I love to death, but is unnecessary or redundant.
     
  7. Eleventh_Guard

    Eleventh_Guard Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 17, 2005
    My hardest part is finding an idea that I like enough to spend the time writing. I really don't have much control over that - the idea comes to me, or it doesn't, and I get them in the weirdest places. Of my most recent 5 stories over 3 chapters, here's where the ideas came from:

    1) Annoyance at a canon scene that I thought could have been done better, because I mistook it for a spoiler scene that actually occurred later, and I was rather unimpressed because I thought it had great potential and was well-done but didn't go nearly far enough. I attempted this, with mixed results, and ended up with an 11-chapter story. This was my first foray into EU fic in a long time, and I'm not really thrilled with it anymore, but it's not awful.
    2) A bad sequel to #1. I didn't write it until the bad idea transformed into a better one in my head and utilized canon characters to a greater extent. I do like the fic that came from that one.
    3) An offhand comment on a fandom mocking thread over at JournalFen that essentially boiled down to "They'd never get together unless they were the last people on Earth." In my head, a story was born: I plotted to place two characters (different from the ones in the original discussion) on a planet all by themselves for a long time.
    4) A sequel to #3, written for NaNoWriMo, because I couldn't think of anything else to write and it seemed like it would be fun. No pressure to write goodfic; just get the wordcount up. I ended up with a story I enjoyed and one that only needed a little bit of editing before being postable on the appropriate site.
    5) A challenge to myself, to write goodfic in a certain small genre that is well-known for being illogical and generally obnoxious, after reading a rant on why some people hated it.

    If the idea comes, it comes. If it doesn't, I'm out of luck. And especially in #1, #3, and #5 - all that aren't sequels - I had little control over the initial spark that gave me an idea. It just sort of came up and smacked me in the head. So I just expose myself to a lot of ideas and hope something sticks.

    Once I get that plot in my head, though, it's mostly smooth sailing.
     
  8. AnakinsFavorite

    AnakinsFavorite Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2006
    What do you find to be your biggest difficulty when it comes to writing?

    Sometimes, just getting started is the hardest part... but once I've got a few sentences down, it all flows out naturally :p

    After that, it's meeting the expectations set by the first post... and maintaining not only my reader's interest, but also my own.

    Sometimes, I literally hit a brick wall- do I continue on hating my fic... or pick up another plot bunny?
     
  9. mari4212

    mari4212 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Mar 8, 2006
    What do you find to be your biggest difficulty when it comes to writing?

    For me it's making the transition from my strengths to my weaknesses.

    I'm relatively good at getting into a character's head and writing with their point of view/voice. That's something I hardly ever have problems with.

    But I'm horrible at plot. I cannot write long things well, at all. Drabbles and vignettes? Fine. Something that involves me getting out of one character's headspace and actually do stuff? Gah.
     
  10. Herman Snerd

    Herman Snerd Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 31, 1999
    For me the most difficult part lately has been just getting motivated enough to sit at the keyboard and type. I love coming up with the ideas and working them out in my head, but actually pounding the stories out just gets tedious
     
  11. drevan1138

    drevan1138 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Apr 7, 2006
    For me the words my characters speak usually flow smoothly and I can wind up with huge chunks of a chapter consisting of nothing but dialogue. My main problem occurs when I go back to fill in the details because I'm not fond of using dialogue tags. To signify which character is speaking I throw in little descriptive phrases. I'm on Chapter 19 of my story and I think my characters are tired of looking around, standing, and patting each other on the back. I can't seem to come up with other descriptive actions for them to intersperse with dialogue. It is the main source of my writing frustration at the moment.
     
  12. Darth_Manion

    Darth_Manion Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2007
    I usually have trouble starting a story. I don't know where to begin. I'm pretty good at dialogue, and I've gotten use to using that to move the story along. Unfortunately, the story will either be really short, or go on for an eternity. I like to have open-ended conclusions, and that always leads to a sequel. If it comes to an end, it's either because I'm out of ideas or the main character dies. The latter is often the only escape, sadly.
     
  13. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    What do you find to be your biggest difficulty when it comes to writing?

    Like a few people here, finding the time seems to be the biggest difficulty. Plus since I'm a slow writer, it always seems to take huge amounts of time to write anything. I've tried to turn off the editor in my head and just write but that doesn't seem to work either. The lack of time is really quite frustrating.

    For the limited interplanetary capabilities, if the planet is poor in resources or if they are off the beaten track and it takes more energy/money/whatever to get from here to there and there's no reason to do so, I can certainly see most of the planet being too poor to afford anything. Of course, not everyone on the planet would be that way. There are always credits to help smooth the way off world.

    As for political intrigue - think one word - power. The power to control your environment or the people around you. If you can track the power, there's intrigue enough for you!

    Back to your regularly scheduled program.. [face_batting]
     
  14. Jade_Pilot

    Jade_Pilot Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 10, 2005
    What do you find to be your biggest difficulty when it comes to writing?

    Well, for me it's the action or physicality of a piece. Writing the movement of a scene without it sounding like directions to putting a stereo together often gives me the most challenge.
     
  15. CrazyAni

    CrazyAni Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Getting Started: The first and last chapters are always the easiest to write for me.

    Getting From Point A to Point B:
    QFT.

    My problem exactly - it's the 'bewteen' chapters that I have trouble writing. As soon as I've reached the climax, it becomes easier.


    What do you find to be your biggest difficulty when it comes to writing?

    And let the complaining start:

    1)TIME. I never have time to write, and when I do, I suffer from-

    2) Loss of Inspiration: you can't write anything at all.

    3) English. I'm not a native speaker, and I don't get English grammar - tenses, grammar structures, prepositions, adverbs...

    Then, my vocabulary is extremely poor, and I and my dictionary don't come along at all - it can never offer me the word I'm searching for. This is just so frustrating! :mad:

    My vocabulary consists perhaps of about 500 words, and I'm using all of them frequently over and over. :(
     
  16. Bale

    Bale Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 9, 2005
    What do you find to be your biggest difficulty when it comes to writing?
    Aside from the DRL issues that seem to universally plague us all, my biggest issues are patience and the ol' "show, don't tell." For the most part, with my stories I start off knowing the beginning and the ending. Unfortunately, this tends to raise pacing issues as I rush through a lot of the story.

    "Show, don't tell"?speaks for itself. No need to elaborate on this stumbling block for me.
     
  17. correllian_ale

    correllian_ale Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 20, 2005
    What do you find to be your biggest difficulty when it comes to writing?

    Stepping away for even a moment from writing. As is the current case, whenever I'm on a roll with writing; if I pause - even for just a day; the whole shebang is gone.

    No muse, no motiviation, no plot ideas. Nothing. RL will sometimes grind my participation as a whole to the ground. (yes that includes reading and reviewing stories I'm currently following.)


     
  18. _Derisa_Ollamhin_

    _Derisa_Ollamhin_ Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2000
    In answer to Tigris' issues, I have a suggestion: if you know the plot points, write them down: outline it. Then, expand on your outline (NOT in order!) Just whichever scene is grabbing your interest at the moment. Put on some music, close yourself into the world you are creating, and start small. once the scene is down, if it hasn't kickstarted your writerly processes, start another. The best thing about this is that you can do it in fits and starts, or take as long on the project as you have. There's no word limit, so you can expand or not as you feel the need.

    Something I learned on these forums, and something that helps my fiction crafting immensely, is that you can write a story out of order, and reassemble it into order when it's done (or as needed). There is no law that says you have to get your characters through every plot point in the order they happen. As long as you stay consistent, edit for that, and have a plot outline that works, it works just fine to write a story in any old order.

    As to the question: my biggest writing issue is time, of course. I'm a full time single mom of three rambunctious and intelligent boys, I work full time in retail, and I have a social life. Writing is a deep-seated need, that sometmes feelslike a secret pleasure, so it can be hard to find those fragments of time and assemble them into a story. :) Which is why I am a fan of busting things up into bite-sized fiction morsels.

    My other issue is *finishing* things. I'm getting better... :)


    *Derisa*
     
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